Define conservation and education objectives
Identify the conservation and/or education objectives your team would like to achieve through the program. Identify stakeholder audiences and how they will benefit from participating in the program.
Identify the financial and human resources available for program implementation and long-term maintenance. The resources available will guide the scope and scale of the projects selected.
Establish a formal team
Recruit a minimum of two other employees to support the team leader, and establish divisions of labor, e.g., partner outreach, habitat maintenance and monitoring, volunteer recruitment. Team members can be from multiple departments.
Get to know your habitat
Familiarize yourself with the habitats and ecological features of the site, e.g., acreage of each habitat type, neighboring land uses, common plant and wildlife species. This can be done with the help of WHC or a local partner.
Select initial projects
Select one or two initial projects that are suited to your team’s objectives and resources. Consult with stakeholders, potential partners, and WHC on appropriate projects.
Identify and connect with at least one outside partner that could support the projects prior to implementing a program.
Schedule events and allocate resources
Schedule events or tasks, e.g., plantings, species inventories, and meetings, to be performed by the site team for project establishment and maintenance during the first year.
Establish projects on the ground by installing plantings or habitat structures, collecting data, or by hosting an outreach or education event.
Schedule regular meetings
Meet at least quarterly to evaluate progress and make decisions for future management, including whether to expand the program with new projects.
Establish a long-term plan
Create a three-year maintenance budget and plan for the program, an important step in ensuring the program’s longevity.
Conduct regular project monitoring and maintenance
Define responsibilities of each team member for continued maintenance and monitoring at the beginning of each year. Document project outcomes as monitoring and maintenance are performed, such as through submitting data for WHC Conservation Certification.
Evaluate program progress annually
Schedule annual meetings of all departments involved (may include community/public relations, environmental health & safety, operations, management, or corporate leadership) to evaluate all active projects and increase program awareness and communication.